In collaboration with the Scottish Digital Academy, we are working to identify and close digital skills gaps where they exist. Through our partnership, we have established the need for skilling on cyber security, data and service design. Our teams are collaborating to co-construct a package of support, some of which will also be available for the wider public sector.   This package will include:  Cyber security courses, intended to raise the standard of awareness across local government;  A data course on innovation, visualisation and tools;  Service Design Champions course offer;  A local government service design challenge, seeking to embed the Scottish Approach to Service Design into local contexts;  Support to local government on data literacy.  Both The Digital Office and The Scottish Digital Academy will release more information about this package of support over the coming weeks. Verity Hislop, Portfolio Lead, Digital Leadership & Skills says: “Having the appropriate digital leadership and skills within a local authority can improve efficiencies and help the organisation adapt to changing circumstances, focussing on time efficiencies, cost savings, resource, capacity and capability.   We are delighted to continue to work in partnership with the Digital Academy, exploring the opportunities to support public sector organisations, to upskill and personalise learning journeys to meet the needs of employees.”  Lee Dunn, Head of the Scottish Digital Academy says: “Our long-standing relationship with the Digital Office, in supporting digital capability across local government has grown from strength to strength. We’ve explored options to realise the actions outlined within the Digital Strategy, and by doing so, we’ve recognised the need to focus on skills gaps. Although we still have some way to go, I’m delighted to offer funding to implement a considered package of support.” 

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While many of us have been banging on about the importance of data for a while now, the current pandemic has allowed data practitioners to demonstrate at both a local and national level just how valuable and important data is in the delivery of vital services across the public sector.


For the first time we have been able to show people the link between strategic and operational use of data as tangible standout cases for data are coming to the forefront, as a result of COVID-19.


Over the past few months we have been using data to:


·       Identify and protect our most vulnerable citizens;


·       Manage the distribution of vital food and medicine to those shielding;


·       Support local businesses through the delivery of lifeline business grants;


·       Deliver easy-to-use citizen facing apps which show the location of critical services such as supermarkets, pharmacies, education hubs for key workers and foodbanks.


Introduction to Data Task Force


Given the challenges that we have been faced with during the pandemic, data has united Local Government like nothing else before.


We have a strong community and through unprecedented collaboration over the last 4 months we have developed a data ecosystem model which shows how we can fully utilise data to deliver improved public services.


The model is underpinned by individual council development squads which each focus on a different data driven initiative which will deliver valuable insight to inform strategic polices as well as operational decision making across local authorities.


To date, we have 5 concurrent AGILE development squads working to deliver outcomes across vulnerability, healthcare, social care, education and economic recovery.


These squads are supported by a further 3 cross council teams:


·       Advisory Group - this team owns the product backlog, provides support and guidance;


·       Capability Squad - produces suite of templates to support documentation of development squads and enable future deployment, common development principles and standards;


·       Data Drive Squad - facilitates knowledge sharing across the Partnership and generates requirements for backlog.


Together we can use data to improve service delivery and shape public services of the future.

We have been delighted to produce the first blog of many for the new ‘Driven By Data’ communications campaign which will underpin data expertise across Local Government.


Kimberley Hose
Product Manager, Digital Partnership Driven by Data Squad 
Business Intelligence Lead, Glasgow City Council